China to accelerate construction of carbon market

China is going to strengthen cooperation with the European Union (EU) on the construction of the carbon market, with an aim to launch the carbon emission trading market nationwide in 2017, said Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative on climate change here on the sidelines of the ongoing COP21 on Saturday. 

Xie made the remarks when he attended a side event organized by the EU with EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete.

Concerning the carbon emission trading market, China has learned a lot from the EU, and to a large extent, China’s construction of carbon market drew on the experiences and practices of the EU, noted Xie.

Launched in 2005, the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) is a cornerstone of the EU’s policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively.

The EU ETS covers more than 11,000 power stations and industrial plants in 31 countries, as well as airlines.

China started a pilot carbon emissions trading project in seven provinces or cities with different economic development levels in 2011, said Xie, which helped reduce both the total emission of carbon and carbon intensity since implementation.

China and the EU jointly launched the cooperation project on carbon emission trading capacity construction in March 2014.

With the support of EU experts and relevant agencies, almost 20 training programs were organized, helping improving the capacities of administrative staff, technical personnel and other stakeholders in China, said Xie.

Moreover, China and the EU issued a joint statement on climate change to enhance cooperation in the uphill battle against global climate change this June, in which the two sides agreed to further enhance existing cooperation on carbon market.

“With both the EU and China committed to emissions trading, two major international players are championing carbon markets as a key policy tool to curb greenhouse gas emissions and put a price on carbon,” said Canete.

“This is a strong signal and crucially needed by companies and stakeholders. I am confident it will encourage others to follow suit,” added Canete.

As the biggest developing country around the world, China is still faced with some special challenges in establishing a carbon market nationwide, but China is determined to do so, and is willing to cooperate with the EU on this, said Xie.

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